Tree #1 Historic Trees of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s First Jacaranda

Howzit guys, I’m Gus the African Plant
Hunter and I’m standing here on the corner of Blakiston Street and Josiah Chinamano Avenue in downtown Harare, in celebration of Tree # 1 in Lyn
Mullin’s book “Historic Trees of Zimbabwe”. This tree behind me is Jacaranda
mimosa. It is, indeed, the Jacaranda tree that is
so widespread throughout tropical Africa, planted a hundred years ago
because of its beautiful blossom. If you’re here in October, just at the end
of the dry season, this whole area of Harare is ablaze with the purple blossom
of the Jacaranda tree. The Jacaranda tree, very interestingly, comes from – a
personal point of view – comes from an area of Brazil, called Minas Gerais, which
is where my own parents live. They currently run their own ecological
research program in the Atlantic rainforest of Minas Gerais, Brazil. So
this tree is actually native to their area. This tree – not this exact
one – the exact historic tree, the very first-ever Jacaranda to be planted
in Harare, planted in 1899, stood on the spot of this building here behind me,
Jacaranda Mews. This one is one of a row just outside Jacaranda Mews. I
couldn’t tell you the age of them, but we’re gonna assume it’s sort of between
eighty and a hundred years. It’s a good, sizeable tree. Jacarandas don’t get that
old because they are quite fragile and when they get a little bit older they
they tend to fall over. So 100 to 120 years is a good age for a
Jacaranda tree. The reason we know that this tree was here, or that there was
originally the very first Jacaranda here, was because, just over there, Lady Fynn
used to live in Salisbury in 1908, and she said
in 1908 that she remembered that Jacaranda flowering for the first time
and that she was certain it was planted in 1899. So that’s Tree #1, Historic Trees of Zimbabwe, I’m Gus Le Breton, the African
Plant Hunter, it’s been great having you with me, I will catch you again soon .Take
it easy! Bye.

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